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Old 04-26-2015, 07:38 AM
 
40 posts, read 30,358 times
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Will this come back? Thanks.
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Is this dead?-image.jpg  
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:01 AM
 
Location: North West Arkansas (zone 6b)
2,742 posts, read 2,239,686 times
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rhododendrons are hard to kill. You might try cutting it all the way down to rejuvenate it. Looks like it didn't get enough water. Those are also shade plants and you look like you've got quite a but of sun there. Did anything change? did you cut down a tree?

Last edited by gunslinger256; 04-26-2015 at 08:31 AM..
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:45 AM
 
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Give it some acidic fertilizer and wait until the new growth comes in. Then cut off the dead stuff. It'll probably take a year or two to regain it's shape.
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Old 04-26-2015, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
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I'd wait on cutting it back as well. Besides too much sun or dryness, a cold snap could have caused that. Just because the leaves are dead, doesn't mean the branch is dead.

OP, where are you? Where I live, most rhodies do just fine in full sun. That would not be true in, say, Omaha.
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Old 04-26-2015, 01:40 PM
 
Location: rain city
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It's fine.

You can cut off the dead branches now, but leave everything that's green and about to bloom. After it flowers, cut the whole thing down to to the lower crown where you see the healthy branches are. It will grow back in a couple of years.

As long as the bush has a well established root system (which yours does) it will recuperate.
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Old 04-26-2015, 04:12 PM
 
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Do I have to cut the whole bush down?

I really want to get the growing process started so that it covers the fence.
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:19 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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Just cut back the dead branches until you see green around them on the cut just under the bark, that is still alive. Water but don't fertilize until it starts to grow out again.
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Old 04-27-2015, 01:04 AM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
20,788 posts, read 9,411,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmr1188 View Post
Do I have to cut the whole bush down?

I really want to get the growing process started so that it covers the fence.
No, you don't have to, and I wouldn't.

A couple years ago, I was living at an old farm, where a rhodie and an azalea, both pretty old shrubs, were blasted by an unusually severe storm. Like your shrub, they looked just awful. I waited until June to do anything to them. Then I took out the branches that had the worst damage, no more than about a third of them. They still didn't look great, just somewhat better. But they both threw out plenty of new sprouts, which were of course a lot shorter than the older, damaged branches. The next June, I took out some more of those older branches, but still not all of them. Both bushes now looked full for about their first two feet of height, with some scraggly older branches sticking out above them. I don't live there anymore, but someone I know does, and this spring, those new sprouts are nearly as tall as the older ones, and the shrubs look almost like the damage never happened.

Don't be in a hurry to make it all better right away. Old rhodies especially develop beautiful gnarly old trunks with age, and I for one love to prune them to show this structure. If you cut the whole plant back, you will lose trunks that take decades to develop. Your plant is old enough to have a large root system, and it will put out plenty of new growth, whether you prune it or not. Your job is to edit the new stuff so you wind up with a shrub that has character.
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